Sunday, August 12, 2007


This "feather duster", is one of a variety of segmented worms. Those designated as feather dusters all basically have the same head configuration. A crown of tentacles that trap food as it drifts by. These worms are "filter feeders. They filter food out of the water current.
They do not generally survive unless they have the appropriate food available to them. Most arrive in the tank in the substrate sands we use, or "hitch hike" in on live rock. In most of my images you may see a lot of purple coloration on the rocks. This is a living organism, that encrusts & plates, on just about everything in a reef tank. It is coraline algea, & every reefer will remember seeing the first specks of it, knowing the reef is coming alive. The rockwork in the reef is filled with thousands of millions of living organisms & is the machine that rocks the reef. This feather duster although"just a worm", is an apt demonstration of wherein beauty lies. Wherever you look for it.
Please have a nice week ahead & be careful.
Over on Planet Earth, you`ll see the poses of some, at times, promiscuous stars.
If you can`t figure it out, It seems Olivia is pretty quick to point them out.


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Segmented worms, eh? Hmm, are these like those worms they've discovered near underwater deep sea volcanic vents in the Galápagos islands? I seem to recall hearing about some such thing, but then, I might have just hallucinated it... any idea?

Really cool guys you have there, and it sure is easy to see how they got their common name. I suspect that the 'feathers' are the parts that catch the food and filter it out?

Knucklehead said...

IVG, Yes the deep sea vents are where the largest of the worms are found. They don`t need any kind of specific light, & proof is in the total absence of it at three miles down & deeper.
These worms are continuously cleaning the water by filtering out detritus that floats through the water column.
As cleaners & by their appearance, you couldn`t pick a better name for them, except maybe, French Ticklers.

AndiF said...

Beautiful shot -- I can feel myself wanting to sway along with them.

katiebird said...

I've never seen one of these creatures -- not even in a photograph. This is really incredible.

Hi Knucklehead, IVG & Andif!

Nancy P said...

Lovely, only I wish they weren't called worms, she said squeamishly. It's like, I saw the movie, "Ratatoille," and people asked me how I liked it, and I said, "I couldn't get over the fact that it's a movie about rats in a kitchen!"

Nancy P said...

p.s. I love your photo series with the starfish. They looked sooo like muscular humanoid bodies.

Knucklehead said...

The unfurling of the featherhead takes about 20/30 seconds in a rotary motion.
It starts to emerge from the tube ( they are also called "Tube Worms") as a round artist`s brush, rotating slowly then fanning out into the canopy pictured.

Knucklehead said...

They are very pretty. I have images of a pink one. I`ll try & find. It`s called Malibu Lady, after the Pink Lady of Malibu. If you google her you`ll see a +60' tall painted lady with a bunch of blue flowers above the opening to a tunnel on Malibu Canyon Road, just a few miles from my house. It was deemed a dangerous distraction to motorists, & after a few problems finally it was removed. It had been painted by a young female law clerk I believe.

Knucklehead said...

It`s better than a mouse in your drawers, I guess.

Knucklehead said...

Nancy p
You`re getting away from me there.
It`s strange how they unknowingly (I`d hope) pose provocativly, in sombreros.
One poor soul obviously doesn`t know the wind was blowing. He got a shriveling chill from it, &, the hat is gone.

olivia said...

LOL Head ... too much tequila I think.


Knucklehead said...

Ya, & his worm is showing.
Some people swallow it.